Sarrazin completes Veloce Racing driver line-up
Veloce Racing has completed its driver line-up for the inaugural season of Extreme E, after signing French all-rounder Stéphane Sarrazin to partner reigning W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick. South African cross-country and off-road specialist Lance Woolridge joins the team as reserve and development driver.
Sarrazin has enjoyed a long and diverse career in the sport, and arrives at Veloce boasting an impressive résumé. Whilst probably best-known for his sports car racing exploits – with six podium finishes in the legendaryLe Mans 24 Hours, two Le Mans Series titles and multiple victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship to his name – he has a far more versatile CV thanmany of his Extreme E rivals, which should serve him well in the electric off-road racing series.
In 1999, Sarrazin contested the Brazilian Grand Prix and continued to carry out Formula 1 testing duties until the end of 2002. Four seasons in the FIA Formula E Championship produced three podium visits and 21 points finishes, while in 2011 and 2012, he tested his mettle in Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship.
Since 2004, he has also made successful appearances in the FIA World Rally Championship, increasingly honing his off-road expertise. From 22 starts at the highest level, he has achieved ten points-scoring results, highlighted by a handful of fourth places.
Sarrazin’s first international rallying triumph came on the2014 Tour de Corse and from three Monte-Carlo Rally outings as part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, he has never finished lower than fourth, with a podium to his credit in 2009. That experience makes him well-equipped indeed to deal with the variety of surfaces and conditions competitors are likely to encounter in Extreme E.
Stéphane Sarrazin, Driver, Veloce Racing, said:
“I am delighted to have agreed terms with Veloce Racing to contest the first season of Extreme E. This is a hugely appealing new series that has already attracted a lot of international attention – and all before the racing has even begun! As a driver, the concept is tremendously exciting and motivating – both on a competitive and personal level – and the challenge will be like no other.
“I’ve driven a lot of different types of car during my career, but the ODYSSEY 21 really is something special and it’s going to generate some incredible action. When we went testing together, it did not take me long to ‘click’ with the Veloce Racing guys – like me, they arrive in Extreme E with a lot of experience from different disciplines in the sport, and that can only be to our advantage over the forth coming campaign. I can’t wait to go racing!”
Sarrazin and Chadwick will be supported throughout the 2021campaign by Lance Woolridge, who has established a fearsome reputation for his off-road endurance skills in his home country.
Born into a motorsport family – his father Neil Woolridge isa multiple cross-country champion on both two wheels and four, and tackled the iconic Dakar Rally in 1998 and 1999 – Woolridge already has 12 seasons of competition under his belt at the age of just 29. Not only that, but he has been breaking records every step of the way, including becoming the youngest driver in South African history to win a national championship cross-country event.
One of the leading protagonists in the South African CrossCountry Series (SACCS), he secured consecutive Class T championship crowns in2018 and 2019.
Lance Woolridge, Reserve and Development Driver, Veloce Racing, said:
“I’m thrilled to be joining Veloce Racing as reserve and development driver. Having tested the ODYSSEY 21 a couple of times now, I can vouch for the fact that it is a seriously impressive piece of kit and I’m confident that my background in cross-country rallying and with similar vehicles will enable me to offer valuable feedback to Stéphane, Jamie and the engineering crew. I’m looking forward to playing a key role behind-the-scenes to help give the whole Veloce Racing team the best possible chance of success.”